More celebrities running for Congress in 2013-A A +A
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
MANILA -- Election year 2013 will test the celebrity power of several veteran actors and movie directors who have decided to throw their hats into the political arena.
According to a list released recently by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), at least 14 showbiz personalities have filed candidacy papers as they seek to represent their districts in the 16th Congress.
Four of them are seeking reelection: Sarangani Representative and Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, Leyte Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez, Laguna Representative Dan Fernandez, and Cavite Representative Lani Mercado.
Pacquiao only needs one vote to win in the 2013 polls because he is running unopposed.
Other showbiz personalities running next year are:
* Joey Marquez (Parañaque City, second district) – city mayor from 1995 to 2004
* Alfred Vargas (Quezon City, fifth district) – incumbent councilor in second district
* Lino Cayetano (Taguig City, lone district) – movie-television director; brother of Senators Pia and Alan Peter Cayetano
* Shalani Soledad-Romulo (Valenzuela City, lone district) – incumbent city councilor; married to Pasig City Representative Roman Romulo; former girlfriend of President Benigno Aquino III; TV5 talent
* Imelda Papin (San Jose del Monte City, lone district) – singer; popularized the song "Isang Linggong Pag-ibig" in the 1980s; former vice governor of Camarines Sur
* Joel Lamangan (Cavite, first district) – film and television director; award-winning films include "Aishte Imasu" 1941 and "The Flor Contemplacion Story" 1995;
* Christopher De Leon (Batangas, second district) – veteran actor; incumbent board member of same district
* Aga Muhlach (Camarines Sur, fourth district) – award-winning actor; currently with TV5; married to beauty queen Charlene Gonzalez
* Rez Cortez (Camarines Sur, fifth district) – veteran TV personality and actor; running under the United Nationalist Alliance of former President Joseph Estrada and Vice President Jejomar Binay
* Annabelle Rama (Cebu City, first district) – showbiz talent manager; married to Eddie Gutierrez; cousin of incumbent Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama
Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute of Political and Electoral Reform, said there is nothing wrong with celebrities aspiring for elective positions.
"If they think they can do the job, why not. Some of them, however, lack the experience," Casiple said in a text message.
"Congress work requires grasp of both national and local legislative work and requirements," he added. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)